I still have a herb garden, the only edible stuff grown on our 1/4 acre these days and because they pretty much take care of themselves with an occasional groom, they are happy.
Herbs are also my best friends when we get invited out for dinner. I always take a bunch to our first time hosts and it is amazing just how wrapt people are at receiving them! Ok, Im not a cheapskate ( lolol) its just that so many of my busy friends do not have a herb garden, except for maybe a parsley plant at the back door and a mint on a windowsill. My days of herb vinegars are long gone tho'...must get back to that as I see most people cannot even get tarragon vinegar anymore. Has it gone out of fashion?
Anyways, I take my ribbon wrapped, huge bunch of herbs and a card with some idea's for using them in different ways. They look great in a vase also.
On other occasions, I have made a batch of old fashioned biscuits or cake and put them/it into an original retro tin ( I collect the tins) Many times we have spent ages yapping about the tin, the cake we remember etc.
Have given away countless jars of Curds...Passionfruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit that everyone has loved. Its amazing how many do not take the time to make something so simple as a curd.
The best things I have received have been cuts of meat from farmer friends, real ' homekill' as we say and full of flavour. Especially blackface hogget...yum.
And venison or wild pork. An occasional trout, paua ( swoon) or crayfish when our coastal friends visit. I can and do buy these things regularly ( except for trout which cannot be sold in NZ)for the business, but to have
them given to us at home is very different!